Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Content is King

If you haven't heard it yet, a hundred times, it's a good thing you're hearing it now - because it's SO true and it's important to heed this oft repeated phrase.

Too many lo/no budget filmmakers get WAY too tied up obsessing over gear, especially camera gear that they just don't produce much. The more you produce, the better, because you'll just get better at it and you'll have more opportunities to succeed.

A reasonable level of quality I'd suggest is sufficient and agonizing over one camera over another that might offer a 3% better level of quality is just a complete waste of time in my opinion.

Most lo/no budget filmmakers shoot their films with cameras they own and with cameras these days coming out like every year and a half, it's easy to understand how those of us who own what we shoot with would want to maybe step up to the newest, latest camera.

Don't wait - just shoot.

That's how I would respond to the trepidation of filmmakers who wonder if they should wait for the latest camera gear because as I mentioned, you're not exactly going to realize a major difference in quality with the next generation of camera. If you're looking into a much higher caliber of camera however, that's a different deal.

That said, I'd recommend not getting tied up too much with camera choices since there are many other aspects of a potential film that will result in a higher quality film. There are bloggers who over-analyze cameras to the point of distraction when in the end, as I mentioned, you might be comparing 2 cameras that are nearly identical in what they can deliver.

There are slews of posts in online forums from wannabe filmmakers asking which camera they should use when really, it's nearly irrelevant unless you're talking about a comparison between a recent camera model and one from 5 years ago.

In the end, an audience only cares about the story and a seamless viewing experience, so I'd recommend delivering that, because nobody and I mean NO-body will care about how sharp and saturated your 4K footage is, if the story doesn't grab them, or if the actors are flat, or if your sound design is distracting, or if etc.

The goal with what gear you use should be to provide a functional level of usability and quality to allow for a seamless movie experience for an audience. The film is not so much dependent upon which $3,000. camera you use as it is about the gear and the techniques you use not distracting from the story. I've seen quite a few no/lo budget films that I felt were wholly compelling which employed no special techniques or equipment and so their success depended much less on gear choices as on the aspects I mentioned, like story, performances, and production design.

Start with a great story, cast the best actors you can, understand directing them, find the best locations you can, and just ensure good sound and picture. The simplest thing you'll have to do is shoot scenes, or it should be.

©2012 Chris Santucci

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